I’ve been getting into the Hartnell era a lot lately. Despite long struggling with a lot of the stories, often finding them a little slow for my tastes, I’ve recently been rewatching some of his adventures on DVD (The Sensorites, The Keys of Marinus, The War Machines) and really enjoying them. So its great to step back to that time through the eyes of Ian Chesterton, the role being reprised again by William Russell, who I always find great to listen to in Big Finish releases.
Very much a retrospective, this play finds Ian calling back to many of his old adventures, both onscreen and in Big Finish, as his memories are slowly stripped from him over the course of the story. However despite the ease at which the story could descend into a “clip show” the play avoids this by remaining routed in the more immediate threat to Ian of his fading memories as he and Pendolin are chased through the museum.
While in the past I’ve sometimes struggled a little with the fomat of the Companion Chronicles, here it works well. The two-hander feels fairly evenly balanced between William Russell and Philip Pope, although it must be said William Russell’s voice seems well-suited to audio plays and is easy to listen to. There is an advantage as well, to the play being set after his time with the Doctor, allowing Russell some room to show how the character has matured and changed after leaving the Doctor, as well as allowing an appropriate feeling of nostalgia as he re-visits past adventures.
Definitely a release I’d recommend. Its a nice stand-alone tale that allows us to drop back in on the character of Ian Chesterton, and see how he views, and how he’s been changed by his time with the Doctor.
The Time Museum is available from BigFinish.com